Flu Shots Still Available in Lansing

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As area health departments report an end to flu shot supplies, one Mid-Michigan clinic still has a supply of the vaccine. The Ingham Visiting Nurse and Hospice received 1,000 doses of the flu shot Tuesday afternoon. Officials say the supply should last the clinic through next week. Flu shots will be administered through Thursday this week at the clinic.

But the Visiting Nurses are in the minority. Ingham, Eaton, Barry, Jackson and Clinton counties are all reporting that their supplies of flu vaccine will likely run out by the end of the week. Doctors say an early and severe onset of flu season in the western part of the country made people get their shots early, putting a strain on the supply. Some counties, such as Ingham, will be rationing their remaining supplies for high-risk patients, such as young children, the elderly and the chronically ill.

Doctors say supplies of the flu vaccine must be bought in advance, and once the supply is gone, it's gone. But doctors say if you have flu like symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

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Influenza Vaccine

  • Much of the illness and death caused by influenza can be prevented by annual influenza vaccination.
  • Influenza vaccine is specifically recommended for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications as a result of influenza infection.
  • These high-risk groups are:
    • All people age 65 and older.
    • People of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs or kidneys, diabetes, immunosuppression, or severe forms of anemia.
    • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities housing patients of any age.
    • Women who will be more then three months pregnant during influenza season.
    • Children and teenagers who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who may therefore be at risk for developing Reye syndrome after an influenza virus infection.

  • Overall vaccine effectiveness varies from year to year, depending upon the degree of similarity between the influenza virus strains included in the vaccine and the strain or strains that circulate during the influenza season.

  • Influenza vaccine produced in the United States cannot cause influenza.

  • The only type of influenza vaccine that has been licensed in the United States is made from killed influenza viruses, which cannot cause infection.

When to receive the influenza vaccine

  • In the United States, influenza usually occurs from about November until April, with activity peaking between late December and early March.

  • The optimal time for vaccination of persons at high risk for influenza-related medical complications is during October through November.

  • It takes about 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination for antibody against influenza to develop and provide protection.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/fluvac.htm ( The Center for Disease Control Vaccine Information Web site)